Monday, September 26, 2011

Racing Day run report

Saturday was racing day -- my 10K run at the zoo.

It started off as a great day. The weather was beautiful -- sunny and about 14C -- the warmest it has ever been for any of my races and I was excited to have a running buddy. The only downside to the day was that when I woke up that morning, my chest felt tight and my muscles were achy -- I figured it was the onset of a cold and I popped some cold drugs (hey, there's no drug test at these races, so it's ok!)

But within a kilometre and a half, I realized that this 'cold' was going to kick my ass and this was not going to be an easy race. My breathing was off, my legs wouldn't loosen up and the whole thing just felt like a struggle. The only thing that kept me going at a decent pace was my running buddy -- we stuck together for the first six and a half kilometres -- and having him beside me definitely kept me in the mental game of wanting to 'keep up'.

But back to the 1.5K mark -- I was already feeling like I was struggling and there was a still a long way to go. But I powered on, and it felt like it got a bit easier. Finally, we rounded 4K and I needed to take a minute to catch my breath, so we walked for a minute or so before starting up again.

As we rounded 5, our cheering squad was waiting for us -- Ryan and the kids and Hugh's wife and kid were yelling and cheering us on. And, in every other race, I've smiled and waved at my cheering squad as I ran by. And I'm sure I did this time, but Ryan later told me that he saw the look on my face and saw that I was having a bad day.

Because you see, bad run days happen from time to time. And when I'm out on a training run, and it's just not going my way, I usually call it quits -- say 'to hell with it', head for home and run again another day. Except when running the race I've been working towards for the last few months -- I didn't want to call it quits.

At 6 and a half kilometres, my running buddy left me. I was seriously starting to slow down, and he wanted to push through. I don't begrudge him for leaving me at all (we had actually talked about it before we even started -- that when one wanted to leave, then they should just go). But after he left, I lost a lot of motivation to go on.

The last few kilometres are a bit of blur. I wanted to quit -- but I didn't want to. And so I pushed on, and on, and on. I felt like I was barely moving. And even when I got to 9 and had hoped to pick up the pace, I just couldn't do it.

The kids and Ryan were cheering for me just past 9 and a half and I tried to smile and wave but I was hurting. Ryan ran over the hill and met me on the other side as I rounded the corner -- maybe 200 metres from the finish line -- and encouraged me to go on, told me I could do it. 

And I did. I finished. And at first, when I got my time, I was disappointed. It wasn't as fast as I had hoped. But then I remembered, that what I really wanted to do was quit -- and I didn't. So that was all that mattered. And besides, it's still faster than the very first time I ran the zoo run in 2009.

So I finished the run in 1:15.7. I'm pretty pleased with myself, actually. In 23 months, I've run 4, 10K runs, and 3 of them have been in the last 11 months. And these two monsters and my very supportive hubby have gotten out of bed early on a weekend morning each time just to stand outside (sometimes in the cold) to cheer me on as I run by.
Oh yeah, and when I got home I could barely move -- I was hot and I was shivering. So I got out the thermometre, took my temperature and discovered I had a low-grade fever. No wonder it was such a hard run!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something tells me he may not want to hang out with me by then

Austin's in SK now but it's still only half days. Meaning, by lunch time, he's home with me and Alex.

He's never blantantly expressed it, but sometimes I get the feeling that he feels left out by the fact that Alex and I hang out every morning and he goes to school. Even though he enjoys school, he feels he's missing out on mommy time. He gets school time and mommy, Austin and Alex time. But never mommy and Austin time anymore.

Last year this wasn't a problem. Because last year, when he was in half-day JK, Alex still napped in the afternoons. So after lunch, it would be mommy and Austin time while Alex slept. Now, to be fair, some days, he watched TV or played quietly in his room while I worked during that time -- but other days, it was 'our time'.

We don't get that anymore. Although it makes me realize that I need to make a point some weekends to do something just with him for a bit.

Anyway, this afternoon, he was figuring out what grade he would be in when Alex started JK (Grade 1). And then he proceeded to go though the entire grade system, one by one, telling me what grade Alex would be in when he was in such-and-such grade.

And then he got to Grade 12 (and Alex would be in Grade 10) and he said: "and then I'll be done school and I can stay home with you mommy when Alex goes to school."

It was really sweet actually. But something tells me that by the time he finishes Grade 12 (and he's, gulp, 18 years old), he won't necessarily want to stay home and play with me every day anymore!

And this is why I stay home with the kids...because I may have my bad days and complain that the kids are driving me crazy -- but before I know it, they won't want to stay home and 'play' with me anymore.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Magic Moments

I've been reading Shell at Things I Can't Say for months now. This week, she's linking up Magic Moments, so, I decided to join in.

Here's mine:

This is my daughter Alexandra (who is now 3, by the way). As my friends and family know, she was born in a hurry -- a mere 7 minutes after I walked into the hospital triage room. Oh yeah, and in the middle of the night -- 4:27 a.m. to be exact.

Ryan snapped this picture about two hours after the frenzy that was her birth. First there was the panic of waiting for a friend to get to our house in the middle of the night to stay with Austin; then the mad rush to the hospital; then there was the mad rush of the doctors and nurses trying to set up the birthing suite and telling me not to push just yet; then out she came; and then everyone else was bustling about afterwards doing all the things I'm supposed to do before the birth (like fill out forms for admission, get a hospital bracelets, etc.)

When all was said and done, the nurse wheeled me and Alex to our room where, once settled into bed, we had our first moment of peace and quiet (and Ryan and I realized it was only 6:30 in the morning!). She dozed lightly on my chest as I lay in bed -- and Ryan snapped pictures. And then she opened her eyes, and almost looked like she was smiling for the camera.

And here's another one of my favourite moments. I was an unusually hot day for early May (last year), and Ryan was visiting his dad with the kids (I was visiting my sister and nephew in California). They took the kids to the beach (in May!) and I just love this picture he captured of the two of them playing together. They almost always play so well together and this picture is them just doing that. Either that, or it's them conspiring against us.

I am linking up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say Sharing My Magic Moments this week.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Racing day, it's (almost) racing day

At the start of 2011, I set myself of goal of running two 10K races this year. Why? I don't know really. Just to prove to myself that I could I guess.

In October 2009, I ran my first 10K, the Zoo Run and as almost as soon as I finished, I wanted to run another, but then I sprained my ankle and ended up on crutches -- and so, the May 2010 race was out of the question. So, I recovered, built up my strength and re-trained to run the Zoo Run again in October 2010.

The first time, I was so proud of myself for just being able to do it. The second time, I was proud of myself for managing to do it again when it would've been so much easier to say the hell with it after spending time on crutches.

The third time, in May of this year, I was just excited to be able to do the run I had wanted to do the year before. And it a fun one. And I did it fast too. This time, I don't know. I'm excited, but for the first time don't feel the least bit stressed about whether I can do it. I know I can do it. I may not do it as fast I would like to (afterall, the May run was all downhill, this one is, umm, full of hills), but I know I can do it.

So why do it? Well as I said, to prove to myself that I can. That I can do two runs in one year; that I can maintain my fitness and endurance level for longer stretches of time that one-year intervals.

It'll be a fun run. It'll be the very first time in three years of running that I'll have a running buddy. I convinced two friends to sign up with me -- one has had to pull out because of an injury but the other will be running beside me on racing day. I'm looking forward to it.

And when it's done, I will not only have ran two 10K races in this year, but in actually, it'll be three 10K races in a 12-month period -- because the Zoo Run last year was in October 2010 and the Zoo Run this year is September 2011. So in 11 months, I will have run three 10K races. Not to shabby now that I think about it.

So what's my big plan for next year? I have one in mind. One that I'm not entirely willing to share just yet. Because sharing means committing and I'm not quite ready to commit to that many kilometres just yet. Ask me next Spring -- that's when I'll be deciding.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Remember me? It's been awhile since I've had time to sit down and write.

Anyway, the backyard growing season is just about wrapping up for me; the fall weather came in with a vengeance on Monday -- what is it, Mother Nature figured it's Labour Day so that's it, summer's most definitely over?

So, how did my garden do this year? Unfortunately, not so well.

But the good first. My raspberry bush was fantastic! Every day for the month of July, the kids and I would go outside in our pajamas and pick about a pint worth of raspberries. Every single morning for a month. And every single day we ate raspberries -- and I can't say 'we ate them until we got sick of them' because we never got sick of them. I'd like to also say that I made jam or some other tasty treats with the raspberries. But no. We ate them. And ate them. And ate them.

And they were delicious!

The cucumbers did alright. I haven't had to buy cucumbers at the store for about a month now, and I made two batches of relish with the overflow cucumbers -- so I guess they did more than alright. But then again, I planted five cucumber plants this year instead of two or three -- so it kind of makes sense that we had more cucumbers.

The tomatoes produced, but nowhere near as many as the last two years. In fact, we had enough to eat tomatoes whenever we wanted one with dinner but there was never an excess. So no tomato sauce and no salsa this year. I had to buy baskets of tomatoes from the market to cook with.

And the zucchini. Well, think back to last year when I complained that my damn zucchini plant was taking over my garden and producing multiple baseball bat size zucchinis on an what-seemed-like daily basis. I had so much zucchini that after we ate as much as we could and I baked as much zucchini bread as we could handle (and I used 12 cups of shredded zucchini in two batches of salsa) I still had something like 10 or 12 cups of shredded zucchini in the freezer.

This year....1 zucchini. That's it. My entire plant produced just one single zucchini. And we ate it.

But, believe it or not, I still had shredded zucchini in the freezer from last summer! So maybe, somehow, my new plant knew that I didn't really need any more of the vegetable.